Following Steve Jobs announcement at Macworld Expo, there has been much excitement among Macintosh users concerning Apple’s all-new Internet strategy. Much of that buzz is focused on Apple’s free collection of iTool - which include free Web space, email, and page-creation. However, the sheen was stripped from these goodies when it transpired that the iTools were available for Mac customers in North America only.

In an interview with Macworld, the director of Mac OS worldwide product marketing, Peter Lowe said that Apple "wants to roll out the new Internet services internationally", but he couldn’t give us a date when UK users would have access to the Mac-specific services.

Apple announced its first four iTools at Macworld Expo: KidSafe, "a breakthrough way" to protect kids on the Internet; Mac.com, an email service run by Apple, giving users an exclusive address on the Internet; iDisk, a new way to store, transfer and share files over the Internet; and, HomePage, an easy way to build your own personal Web site "in less than 10 minutes".

Lowe, who is in charge of the new Internet programme, told Macworld that "other English-speaking countries" would get the iTools "next" after quality issues had been proven in the US and Canada. The iTools require "certain levels of localization and regionalization" before they can be rolled out elsewhere in the world - particularly in non-English-speaking countries.

In the meantime, UK Macintosh users have been getting round the America-only restriction by tricking the Apple server into believing that they live in the US. Simply, type in a US address, including state (CA for California, for example), and any US Zip code (90120 springs to mind). Bingo, all the iTools are yours. However, a full UK iTools service is now top of the wish list for those of us unwilling to bend the rules.

Lowe confirmed that more iTools will be added to Apple’s Web site, on top of the initial four announced at Macworld Expo 2000 in San Francisco.

For all the news from Macworld Expo 2000, San Francisco, go to Macworld’s round-up pages.